"Bayou Bill" Scifres
Dedicated to the conservation and enjoyment of Indiana's natural resources
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Fall Collection of Mother Nature's Bounty
Copyright © 2006 by Bill Scifres

The autumnal equinox rolled around last weekend (12.30 am Saturday to be exact) and with it came the fall collection of Mother Nature’s summer bounty--more specifically black walnuts, butternuts, and hickory nuts.

Black walnuts started falling earlier this month, but it is likely that the best-filled nuts will start falling now. Butternuts will fall in the next week or so and so will early maturing hickories. It all adds up to a nutty October of pies, cake, cookies, or just plain old snacks like we enjoyed when I was a kid.

Butternuts are by far the most difficult to separate from that pithy, outer shell. But if they are handled the way black walnuts are handled 9use plastic gloves), it is a fairly easy task. Just give each nut a sturdy whack with a paddle made of inch-thick wood The hard, inner (black) nut--both black walnut and butternut--then is placed where it will be exposed to the elements to dry. They must be protected from squirrels during the drying process. The juice in the outer husk is filled with a very dark stain.

Hickory nuts are encased in a less-damp outer hull of four strips, at times fifths. In most cases it can be removed readily with a knife. But the hickory nut will check (crack) if left in the sun to dry.

In any event, the nut season is upon us--they aren’t as plentiful this year as last in most cases--but they still are there and very tasty.

FALL SHOW--The 20th annual Fall Boat & RV Show of Renfro Productions, producer of the late-winter “Sports Show,” is scheduled for Sept. 28 through Oct. 1 in the state Fairgrounds’ West Pavilion, Indianapolis.

Show hours will be 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. on Thursday and Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturday, and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.

Tickets will be available at the gate for $6 for adults. Seniors (60 and older) price will be $4 at the door, children under 12 will be admitted free. Seniors can save $1 on adult admission with a discount coupon available at Marsh Supermarkets and Village Pantry Stores. Or by clipping the show ad in the local newspaper.


Dear Mr. Scifres: 

Although I am not an outdoor fishing/hunting fan I do read your articles in the Kokomo Tribune. Especially, I like the mushroon articles for I grew up on a farm and now not able to hunt them as we did when kids.

We live east of Kokomo close to Greentown.  Friday evening (Sept. 15) as my husband and I were taking a walk down the street we noticed something at the edge of the woods that looked like a soccer ball.  When we went to investigate it was a puffball with another close by.  I had never seen anything like that but the next day the Tribune had a picture of a local man who had found one also.

Thanks, Mrs. GM, Mrs. G.G., Greentown.

THE NEIGHBORS--Here, for those who are thinking of a squirrel hunt in an adjoining state, are the squirrel season dates for this year:

OHIO--Sept. 1 to Jan.31, statewide form gray, red, or black.,  (The red squirrel also is known as the piney in some states, check that).
ILLINOIS--Aug. 1 to Jan. 20, statewide.
KENTUCKY--Aug. 19 to Nov.10, and Nov. 13 to Feb 28, fox and gray.
WISCONSIN--Sept.16 to an.31, statewide.
MINNESOTA--Small game including fox and gray squirrels, Sept. 16 to Dec 31.
IOWA--Sept. 1 to Jan. 31, fox and gray squirrel.

FIELD DAY--A forest field day will be held on Sept. 30 from 9:30 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. in Brown Ccounty, just south of Yellowwood State Forest near Nashville, Indiana. Chuck Ratts, a forester, will join landowner Jerry Long and several other natural resources professionals to lead a tour of the property. Several forest topics will be discussed. There will be time for open discussion and questions.

Directions: Take S.R. 46 east from Bloomington or west from Nashville.  Turn north onto Yellowwood Road and watch for signs.  When you come to the right turn leading to the Yellowwood St. Forest office, don’t turn!  Continue straight and watch for the property on your left.

For more information, contact the Hoosier Heartland R.C. & D. at (317) 290-3250 or Sam Carman, Division of Forestry at (317) 232-4119.


All columns, essays, and photos are copyrighted by Bill Scifres and may not be reproduced in any form without prior permission from the author.  For reproduction permission and media usage fees, contact: Bill Scifres, 6420 East 116th Street, Fishers, IN 46038, E-mail: billscifres@aol.com

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